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The story of the Synergistic Research Atmosphere:
Atmosphere began when our lead designer Ted Denney contemplated why
system’s seem to sound better late at night and worse mid-day. As a
pioneering designer of the first high performance power
cord, the original AC Master Coupler of 1994, and his later work in 2007
to develop the world’s first patented non-current limiting AC
filter found in our PowerCell AC line conditioners, he knew there must
be more to the mystery of what we hear late at night vs mid-day than
just the state of AC coming out of the wall. After all if it were only
AC than power conditioning and high performance power cords would have
solved this problem long ago.
So we began researching variables that could contribute to the
mystery of midnight vs. mid-day system performance and came to the
conclusion that man-made and solar RF must play a significant role. This
led us to research of factors that contribute to fluctions in the
Earth’s ambient RF environment. Ted reasoned that if differences in RF
can degrade sound, then RF can be modeled and shaped to improve sound.Solar Flare
The Sun and RF propagation on Earth:
There are three major disturbances on the Sun that affect radio
propagation here on Earth. Solar Flares, Coronal Hole and Sudden
Disappearing Filament (SDF). Each disturbance causes both
electromagnetic radiation and ejection of material from the Sun that
alter RF on Earth. What we looked at was how each of these disturbances
affect our RF environment during the day vs late at night with the
intention to mimic late night conditions to improve sound mid-day. *If
you want to skip the technical primer please scroll down to “Solar
Flares, Coronal Holes, The Sudden Disappearing Filament and Wi-Fi-
Solar flares release huge amounts of energy, including sustained,
high-energy bursts of radiation from VLF to X-ray frequencies and vast
amounts of solar material. Most solar flares occur around the peak of
the 11-year solar cycle. The first earthly indication of a huge flare is
often a visible brightness near a sunspot group, along with increases
in UV and X-ray radiation and VHF radio noise.
The sudden increase in X-ray energy from a large flare can
immediately increase RF absorption in the Earth’s lowest ionospheric
layers, sometimes causing a phenomenon known as a Sudden Ionospheric
Disturbance (SID). An SID affects all HF communication on the sunlit
side of the Earth and signals in the 2 to 30-MHz range may disappear
entirely. Even background noise may cease in extreme cases. When you
experience a big SID, your first inclination may be to look outside to
see if your antenna fell down! SIDs may last up to an hour before
ionospheric conditions temporarily return to normal.
Typically, several hours after a flare erupts at the Sun, particles
begin to arrive at the Earth in the form of a plasma, a highly ionized
gas made up of electrons, protons and neutral particles, traveling at
speeds up to 300 miles per second. Really high-energy protons may even
disable satellites orbiting high above the atmosphere and seem to have a
negative effect on the way our audio systems sound.
A second major solar disturbance is a so-called “coronal hole”.
Matter ejected through this “hole” becomes part of the solar wind and
can affect the Earth’s magnetic field.
Statistically, coronal holes tend to occur most often during the
declining phase of the 11-year solar cycle and they can last for a
number of solar rotations. This means that a coronal hole can be a
“recurring coronal hole,” disrupting communications and degrading the
subjective performance of our audio systems for several days.
Sudden Disappearing Filament
The Sudden Disappearing Filament (SDF) is the third major category of
solar disturbance that can affect RF propagation on Earth. SDFs take
their names from the manner in which they suddenly arch upward from the
Sun’s surface, spewing huge amounts of matter as plasma out into space
in the solar wind.
When the conditions are right, a flare, coronal hole or an SDF can
launch a plasma cloud into the solar wind, resulting in an Ionospheric
Storm here on Earth. Unlike a hurricane or a Nor’easter in New England,
an ionospheric storm is not something we can see with our eyes or feel
on our skin. However we can see the indirect effects of an ionospheric
storm on magnetic instruments located on the Earth’s surface, because
disturbances in the ionosphere are intimately related to disturbances in
the Earth’s magnetic field.
During a geomagnetic storm (“geo” means Earth, in Greek), we may
experience extraordinary radio noise and interference, especially at HF.
You may hear solar radio emissions as increases of noise at VHF. A
geomagnetic storm generally adds noise and weakens or disrupts
ionospheric propagation for several days.
Solar Flares, Coronal Holes, The Sudden Disappearing Filament and Wi-Fi- Oh my.
In a nut shell we discovered that during the day ambient RF is
stronger while the Earth’s Schumann Resonance is weaker in relation to
overpowering solar and man-made radio frequencies. Typically speaking
the ambient RF environment is at a higher frequency and is more complex
during the day, and at a lower frequency and somewhat less complex late
at night as our planet turns away from the sun. While charting Solar
Flare, Coronal Hole and SDF activity we learned that the prevailing RF
environment is affected by solar activity much more during the day, and
less at night and this led to the discovery of specific RF environments
conducive to what we perceive as good sound.
Synergistic Research Atmosphere
An Unexpected Discovery
In the early stages of Atmosphere’s development we were
looking for ways to overcome the chaotic high frequency RF environment
of day and replace it with the soothing lower frequency environment we
experience at night. While working to recreate the perfect RF
environment we built a single ELF field generator and like so many
others found the Schumann Resonance, 7.83 Hz, to be a powerful talisman
against high frequencies generated by solar activity as well as man-made
factors like cell phones, Wi-Fi, lighting, and radio. We also found the
Schumann Resonance to have significant limitations. Generate 7.83 Hz
one way and sound was improved but also ‘darker’, like switching from an
open sounding cable to a darker sounding cable that warms a system as
it steals resolution in equal measure. Generate 7.83Hz another way and
the sound opened up but at the expense of low frequency weight and
control. In other words broadcast the same frequency in two different
ways and you get two different results with neither being exactly right.
The observed differences created by a single ELF generator eventually
led to broadcasting over multiple separately tuned ELF and
SLF generators. By working with multiple frequencies and variables we
effectively sidestepped the inherent tradeoff of single frequency
conditioning. With multiple tuned generators we were able to create
an RF environment without tradeoffs by shaping multiple
frequencies instead of relying on a single generator operating at a
single frequency. What we never expected as we experimented with
multiple signal generators was the realization that we were affecting, all aspects of sound.
As we continued to alter the output parameters of our multi wave
generators we found we could control soundstage width, depth, and
height. We also found we could shift perceived frequency balance making
sound warmer or more open at will. Likewise we could control low
frequencies making them sound fuller or tighter. Mid-range was also
within our control allowing us to match the perceived mid-range of our
systems to better compliment a given recording. By shaping literally
millions of potential settings for Atmosphere we can place a performer
in-between a set of speakers or when recordings calls for something
massive like a full orchestra, we can ensure the room and system are
capable of projecting a massively layered soundscape. It was not long
before we had cataloged dozens of what we were now callings ‘scenes’ to
better match different types of music.
Atmosphere Scenes- control at the touch of your iPad:
Screen shot of the Atmosphere iPad control app
Atmosphere is a multi-channel signal generator with millions of
potential adjustments and when properly calibrated compliments an
infinite variety of music, different systems, and even rooms with known
issues, like an abundance of glass or hard reflective surfaces. To
control Atmosphere there’s an included iPad app. Simply pick from the 3
base scenes- Intimate Acoustic, Hologram, and Grand Canyon to calibrate
Atmosphere’s field to the type of music you’re listening to.
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Making better Sound One system at at a time,
Weinhart Design, Inc.
President & CEO
The Audio and Video Expert
2337 Roscomare Road, Studio #1
Los Angeles, California 90077